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tented in his natural sphere of middle life, he had no ambition beyond that of serving his country to the best of his power. Office or rank possessed no charm for him that could outweigh his attachment to a tranquil home, and those intellectual pursuits which became the ruling passion of his existence. Even distinctions justly earned by his literary merits, and solicited for him by fellow-labourers as eminent as Jacob Grimm and Alexander von Humboldt, he could decline from a fear of in any way being judged to have abandoned principles of independence to which he had ever adhered. Blest with a happy home, competent means, a partner of whom it suffices to say that for more than forty years she proved in every sense a worthy helpmate, able to appreciate his labours and to requite his affection, surrounded by a circle of tried and valued friends, with leisure for his studies and study for his leisure, he lived in honour and he died in peace. His last illness was occasioned by his attendance at the funeral of his life-long friend, Justinus Kerner, and he died at Tübingen on the 14th of November, 1862, in his seventy-sixth year, as sincerely regretted as he was widely known and loved.
We have not entered in our article at any length on the criticism of Uhland's works; the greater part of them are so well known as to need but little remark; we may perhaps have helped some readers to a better comprehension of part of his productions, in indicating the circumstances under which they were written; but our object has been more to set forward in our presentment of Uhland, the man, a contrast to a too general notion of a poet and a German poet. He could stir a nation without parading his individual agonies, and could contemplate more important and more patriotic matters than his own great wounded heart.'* He could set forth in sweet and noble song thoughts which shall not perish, and poetry which can never pall upon a healthy taste, without dabbling in petty blasphemies, or flavouring his lines with atheistical innuendos; he, in outspoken, unaffected strains could move men's hearts without embittering them, shocked no prejudice by parading
* See in the fourth stanza of the Wandering,' a powerful and well-deserved sarcasm on poetic egotism:
impiety, and gained wide sympathy without instilling cynicism. He was a man whose character should be known in these days as well as his works, and whose guileless nature should be honoured wherever his genial writings make their way. Few poets on their dying beds can feel, as Uhland might have felt, that of all the many words their brain had sown upon the earth there were so few of which they had to cry in lamentation, Fugit irrevocabile!
ART. III.—1. A Critical History of Free Thought in reference to the Christian Religion. By Adam Storey Farrar, M.A. London, 1862. "
2. Essays and Reviews-Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750. By Mark Pattison, B.D. London,
MOLAND, Collins, Tindal, Woolston, Morgan, Chubb, Annet. What kind of recollection do these names call up in the minds of English readers of the present day? Are they, to the majority, anything more than a bare catalogue of names- Alcandrumque Haliumque Noëmonaque Prytanimque ' — known, perhaps, in a general way as Deistical writers, much as the abovementioned Virgilian, or rather Homeric, worthies are known as soldiers; but, in other respects, not much more distinguished as regards personality and individual character? Yet these were men of mark in their day, the Essayists and Reviewers of the last century, attracting nearly as much attention, and receiving nearly as many criticisms, as their successors are doing at present. Nor were some of them without confident hope of the lasting effects which their works were destined to produce. Tindal prefaces his Christianity as Old as the Creation' with the declaration that he thinks he has laid down such plain and evident rules as may enable men of the meanest capacity to distinguish between Religion and Superstition, and has represented the former in every part so beautiful, so amiable, and so strongly affecting, that they who in the least reflect must be highly in love with it.' And, towards the conclusion of the work, he sums up his estimate of its argument in terms equally flattering: "For my part, I think, there's none who wish well to mankind, but must likewise wish this hypothesis to be true; and can there be a greater proof of its truth, than that it is, in all its parts, so exactly calculated for the good of mankind, that either to add to or to take from it will be to their manifest prejudice?' Chubb, in the preface to his True Gospel,' asserts that he has 'rendered the
Gospel of Christ defendable upon rational principles.' Annet tells his readers that his end is 'to hold forth the acceptable Light of Truth, which makes men free, enables them to break the bands of creed-makers and imposers asunder, and to cast their cords from us; and to set at liberty captives bruised with their chains; to convince those that believe they see, or that see only through Faith's optics, that their blindness remaineth.'* Woolston boasts that he will 'cut out such a piece of work for our Boylean Lectures as shall hold them tug so long as the ministry of the letter and an hireling priesthood shall last.'† And truly, if temporary popularity were any security for lasting reputation, Woolston had good grounds for his boast. His Discourses are said to have been sold to the extent of thirty thousand copies, and to have called forth in a short time as many as sixty replies. Swift's satirical lines testify to his popularity; while in other respects they might pass for a description of a Right Reverend critic of the present day.
'Here's Woolston's tracts, the twelfth edition,
Other authors of the same school attained to a like celebrity. Against Collins's 'Discourse of Freethinking,' according to the boast of the author himself, no less than thirty-four works were published in England alone ;§ and the list of antagonist publications enumerated by Thorschmid amounts in all to seventy-nine in various languages. Tindal's Christianity as Old as the Creation' gave occasion, according to the same diligent collector, to as many as a hundred and fifteen replies.
The country members, when in town,
The Resurrection of Jesus Considered,' p. 87.
Fifth Discourse on the Miracles of Our Saviour,' p. 65.
§ Thorschmid, Freydenker Bibliothek,' vol. i. p. 155. In the Acta Eruditorum Lipsiens., A. 1714, it is said that as many as twenty answers appeared in the same year with the Discourse itself.
At this time, when we are again startled by a similar phenomenon-when we once more see writings, whose literary merits, to say the least, are by no means sufficient to account for the notice they have attracted and the apprehensions they have excited, pushed into an adventitious celebrity by the subject of which they treat, and the circumstances under which they were written our attention is naturally drawn to the parallel furnished by the last century; and we feel an interest in asking why it is that men so celebrated and so dreaded in their own generation should be so utterly forgotten in ours. And the interest is increased when we become aware of the existence of other parallels in other countries. The same state of things which existed in England in the early part of the eighteenth century was repeated in France in the latter part of the same century, and in Germany at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth. In France, the names of La Mettrie and De Prades, and D'Argens, and D'Holbach, and Damilaville, and St. Lambert, and Raynal, are almost as much forgotten as those of their English predecessors. In Germany, those of Tieftrunk and Henke, and Eckermann, and Paulus, and Röhr, and Wegscheider, represent men who once exercised a living influence on the theology of their day, but whose works are now little more than the decaying monuments of a dead and buried rationalism.
These, it may be objected, are neither the only nor the greatest names that can be cited as examples of freethinking in their respective countries; nor are they entitled to be considered as its chief representatives. Yet they are fair representatives, not indeed of the highest amount of ability or influence that has at any time been combined with freethinking tendencies, but of the class of writers whose reputation rests principally or solely upon those tendencies. Men like Hume and Gibbon, or even Shaftesbury and Bolingbroke, in England, like Voltaire and Rousseau in France, like Lessing and Wieland in Germany, may have written in the same spirit, and may have been as heterodox in their belief as their less distinguished countrymen; but they so little owe their literary reputation exclusively or principally to their heterodoxy, that that reputation would now in all probability be as great or greater than it is, had their thoughts on religion never been given to the world. If we are to compare the freethinking of individuals with the teaching of the Church, in respect of its permanent influence on the minds of men, we must compare them, as Plato compares justice and injustice, in themselves, and not in their accidental accompaniments. We may perhaps add that by so doing we shall find a closer parallel to the writers who
have excited the greatest religious panic among ourselves at the present day.*
These three schools of England, France, and Germany, however differing in the spirit and details of their teaching, have this feature in common-that they are all, to a great extent, of native growth in their several countries, and sprang up under, or were modified by, the influence, rightly or wrongly understood, of a native system of philosophy. In England, in the early part of the last century, both the assailants and the defenders of Christianity borrowed their weapons from the armoury of Locke. In France, the prevailing religious unbelief took much of its tone from the philosophy of Condillac; and the rationalism of Germany, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, allied itself, as regards its main principles, with the system of Kant. In every case, also, the theological deductions were rather inferred from than contained in the philosophical systems with which they were connected, and, in some cases, were neither intended nor admitted by the authors of those systems. Locke, to use the words of his friend Molyneux, took an early opportunity of 'shaking off' Toland. Condillac, devoting himself chiefly to philosophical speculations, carefully avoided all application of his principles to questions of morals or religion; and, while he allowed no other source of knowledge than the experience of the senses, he was at the same time so far removed from the materialism of his later followers that his system has even been regarded as logically identical with the idealism of Berkeley. In the philosophy of Kant we may discern two opposite tendencies: the rationalism which his practical philosophy encourages is refuted by his speculative philosophy; and, while it must be admitted that the Kantian rationalists could find some support for their views in the later writings of their master, it must be admitted also that they are supported by one portion only of his philosophy, and that portion not the one on which his fame as a thinker principally rests.
The English and French movements were in this distinguished from the German,-that in the former, political interests and influences were largely mingled with the religious and the philo
The apologist for the Essays and Reviews' in the Edinburgh Review' of April, 1861, compares the excitement caused by that work to such religious panics' as that on the prospect of the admission of Dissenters to the Universities in 1834, that on the Education Scheme in 1839, and those caused by the Hampden and Gorham controversies, and by the Papal aggression. It would have been more just to compare it with the interest excited by the Deistical works of the last century, but such a comparison would have overthrown the Reviewer's argument. † See Diderot, Lettre sur les Aveugles,' Euvres (1821), tom. i, p. 321.,